It sounds like the beginnings of a joke gone horribly wrong—what do a police chief, a Boy Scout troop leader, a nurse and a rabbi have in common? They were all recently arrested for charges of trading in child pornography.
The three were among over 71 child pornographers that were arrested in the New York City area on Tuesday. According to a press release, it was one of the largest roundups of child pornographers in New York City area, and the result of a five-week federal investigation.
According to James Hayes in the Immigration Customs Enforcement’s New York Office, this case proves that consuming child porn “is not something that is just done by unemployed drifters who live in their parents’ basement,” and that “If this operation does anything, it puts the lie to the belief that the people who do this are not productive members of society.”
The Boy Scout troop leader also coached a youth baseball team. The rabbi home-schooled children in his spare time. The police chief taught sexual assault abuse awareness classes to students in local elementary and middle school students.
Although many of those charged with viewing of child pornography had access to children, there are no reports of child abuse.
After some time, their respective interest in children became less altruistic, and a bit more sinister in nature. The police chief began viewing child pornography in order to do research for the classes he was teaching. Soon, it became a personal interest.
Agents found over 120 pornographic files on his computer, along with photos and videos of girls as young as seven years old.
In order to investigate the abuses, investigators used software available only to law enforcement officials to identify IP addresses of devices that have downloaded or shared child pornography online.
All of those charged and arrested were from the New York City and New Jersey areas. The New York City Police Department announced the arrests during a press conference held on Wednesday.